[Israel.pm] Perl versus PHP for a Scalable Web Project

Gaal Yahas gaal at forum2.org
Sun Mar 18 11:02:59 PDT 2007

On Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 07:09:41PM +0200, Elizabeth Sterling wrote:
>     The biggest argument I can make for Perl right at the moment is
> that its i18n/l10n capabilities are much stronger, and this site needs
> to be up in multiple languages and both directions from the minute it
> launches this new version. There's no time to mess about with PHP's
> hand-stand, fingers in the ear on the opposite side of your head
> approach to multiple character set usage. But that's not enough of an
> argument.

If that's a hard requirement, maybe it is enough of an argument.

>      Scalability is certainly an issue, but I've worked on sites that
> run in PHP and get millions of unique visitors per day, so the
> question is maybe not "is it scalable?" but "how much will it cost to
> scale?" I *think* that Perl is cheaper on resources in the long run,
> but I don't have any specific data on that. Do any of you?

I've never seen a site that was *architectured* with PHP. My impression
is that much of PHP's success is due to drop-in readymade applications,
e.g. forums; but if the site's core business is its own web applications
then it'll end up modifying those readymades so much you may as well
have a Real Language to do it in. And indeed, big sites have much more
running them than the web facing layer. One example is LiveJouranal,
which has had successful organic growth an uses Perl for most of its
stuff, and C (often with Perl bindings) occasionally where they needed
badass speeds.


On the language level, here's a non-flamy criticism of PHP:


Hope this helps,

Gaal Yahas <gaal at forum2.org>

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